2019 Victorian Business Excellence Award finalists


Stacey Jane Barrass – Goddess Cleaning Group

Stacey is a mother to three crazy, yet beautiful boys who are 10, 14 and 17. When she became a solo parent (escaping from an abusive relationship), Stacey handed in her resignation from the corporate world and commenced cleaning homes during school hours. From those humble beginnings to a team of eighteen, Stacey is forging a path through the cleaning industry to turn it on its head. She is creating an ethical work platform and an environment where her team members are celebrated for their hard work and not looked down upon due to the current ‘cleaner’ mentality. Her focus is on employment of women from disadvantaged backgrounds and those emerging from similar unsavoury relationships and situations. Stacey aims to fill their confidence cup, build their self-esteem and encourage them to break the cycle by creating their own life with positive changes.



Samantha Morgan – Encore Equestrian Centre

Encore Equestrian Centre offers many services to new and experienced horse enthusiasts. Owned by Samantha Morgan who has over 20 years’ experience, Encore is the perfect place to learn to ride, build equestrian skills, keep a horse and much more, it is the one stop horse shop! More than just a business, Encore is Samantha’s ‘dream come true’ where she strives to help others’ dreams come true too.

Encore is a huge part of Samantha’s life and she works hard to ensure it is one the best in the industry. She comes with the capacity to manage an effective community where our clients and team members are at the centre of every decision. She acknowledges the importance of strong, knowledgeable, reliable and positive leadership and constantly strives for the best. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and passion. She lives at Encore with her Partner, Step-Son and Daughter.



Kelly Jordan – Kelly Jordan Photography

Kelly Jordan Photography embodies capturing the important life moments, not just the perfectly styled ones. The relatively taboo subject of birth is a driving force behind Kelly’s desire to document birth in a raw and honest way, coupled with the beauty of maternity and newborn stages makes for a complete visual story telling of your little one’s arrival. With moments of labour and birth not being indelible, nor are the early days of newborn, Kelly Jordan is honoured with the job of creating an heirloom of these moments.



Rebecca Perkins – My Special Child

As well as being Founder and Director of My Special Child Rebecca is a Writer, Presenter and Trainer on diverse needs, learning difficulties and behaviour. Most importantly Rebecca is Mum to two beautiful boys, one of which has ADHD and is Intellectually Disabled. Rebecca herself also has diagnosed ADHD and Dyslexia.

In 2015 Rebecca Founded My Special Child, an organisation that aims to provide information and support to families of children with additional needs. Rebecca has written hundreds of articles as well as her eBook ‘A Short Guide to Autism’ and has provided information and strategies to parents and educators all over the world. Rebecca has worked along side many incredible organisations, recently consulting on Special Olympics Australia’s upcoming initiative.

Over the years Rebecca and My Special Child has done a vast amount of work with people around the globe to help improve the lives and futures of children.



Arpana Patel – AveSol Accounting Services

Arpana holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University of Auckland and is a full member of both CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants. She also holds a certificate for Leadership and Management, has a Diploma in Marketing and is a certified internal quality auditor for ISO 9001.

Originally from New Zealand, Arpana moved to Melbourne in 2001 whereupon she commenced employment with Bob Jane T-mart as Graduate Accountant. She took a career break in 2008 and had 2 beautiful children. For next 5 years Arpana enjoyed her time as stay at home mum. By 2014, once the children had started school, Arpana was ready for a new challenge. She established a new accounting practice in partnership with a Melbourne lawyer and that started her journey towards success. Since then Arpana has become the sole proprietor of the accounting practice -AveSol which has given her the opportunity to provide accounting and tax services to small business owners with particular focus on mum entrepreneurship. Her business model is based on solutions thinking outside the square but inside the circle.



BernadetteTorresan – GO Local Media Group

Bernadette is a dedicated single mother to a nine-year old little boy. After an incredibly difficult phase of life, recently divorced, unemployed due to work place bullying, all exacerbated by the distance from family, she was looking for something positive in her life and so she decided to pursue her life long dream to publish a local, inspiring lifestyle magazine.

GO Local Media Group grew out of the initial desire to only publish a magazine and by the second year of business, she hosted her first fashion show for regional Australia.

Today, GO Local Media Group sets their sites on inspiring on a national level.



Hannah Elizabeth Gallinar – Photography by Hannah Elizabeth

Hannah Elizabeth is a creative, professional and inspiring in her photography + film. She is polite, accommodating, respectful and is able to capture special moments, like cheeky smiles or twinkling eyes, making ordinary moments extraordinary. The moment you meet her, she acknowledges your wants and needs and is so warm and friendly to make you feel like an old friend. That warmth resonates within her images, her art.



Lisa Hayes – All in All Parties & Events

All in All Parties & Events specialises in kids pop up parties and runs Australia wide. They bring tables, chairs and props.  They set up, host, entertain, cater and pack it all down again allowing parents to sit back, relax and enjoy their little ones special day.  All in All Parties & Events has been franchised and currently has 4 franchisees operating in Sydney, Geelong and Townsville.  Lisa Hayes is the Director of All in All.  She has recently moved from Sydney to Geelong with her 3 children aged 12, 8 and 5 along with her husband Chris.  Lisa and Chris took the kids travelling in Europe, the UK and New York for 3 months in term 2 to allow the kids to learn about other cultures and to really bond as a family.



Kelly Dennis – The Fit Station Caroline Springs

The Fit Station CS is a family-friendly group fitness business with their very own children’s area (the only in the west) which means no child care costs and children are welcome at all classes. This allows mums who usually don’t have the option to train to be able to do so in a safe place to play right next to where we train giving them peace of mind and a chance to do something for themselves.

The Fit Station is unlike any other fitness businesses, the staff are hands on with all members, not just with their training but with everything through to the events they prepare their members for and participate alongside them in. The facility is a community, a true fit family where is everyone is welcomed and the energy and vibe is somewhere everyone wants to be.



Aisling Brady – Aisling Enterprises

Melbourne based publicist and marketer, Aisling has spent the last 20 years working for all kinds of artistic organisations and individuals from authors, theatre companies, film festivals, major music producers and dance companies to prestigious not-for-profits and charities. Born in Ireland and raised in Sydney, Australia, Aisling could be found poring over books from an early age. She spent many years travelling the world and has lived in seven different countries!

In 2015 she began Aisling Enterprises to work as a freelance publicist and marketer. The company now has a solid creative clientele – with a large portion of this comprising of repeat business! Aisling is a graduate of the Australian Writers Centre and studied a Bachelor of Arts – (Communications & Journalism). She is also a wife and mummy of two boys and can generally be found enjoying a good laugh, over a good wine! 🙂



Tara Walton – Dance Empire

Dance Empire is more than a dance studio, it’s a home. A place to learn, get creative, be yourself & make lifelong friends. Based in the Dandenong Ranges, the studio has met a lot of students over the last 10 years & changed a lot of lives. Tara,  the founder of Dance Empire who lives locally, often sees old students around (all grown up!). She says it’s lovely to hear how the studio was their ‘happy place’ as a child. Now, also a mother herself, Tara has her own children at the studio which is amazing to see. Tara wanted to create a safe space for kids, where parents could escape the ‘dance world’ of make-up & big hair and just let kids enjoy coming to class & performing.



Danielle Busuttil – Danielle B Photography 

Danielle works as a photographer from her home studio. A mum of 3 beautiful girls 6, 2, 10months. A midwife of 14years. With a love for babies and young children, she takes the time to capture precious images that can be cherished forever and passed down as heirlooms. Danielle gives back to the community by always saying yes to fundraisers. Also having had 3 miscarriages Danielle offers Rainbow maternity sessions complimentary.